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Joey Votto was saved by his minor league host family

The Dayton Daily News has an interesting sidebar to the Joey Votto story: a profile of his former minor league host family who provided him a lifeline when he was at his psychological nadir. It’s interesting and poignant as it relates to Votto, but it’s plenty entertaining too as a result of the background it provides about how guys in the low bush leagues live. Here’s the father of the host family, explaining part of the rationale for taking in ballplayers:

“Back then our daughters were maybe 12 and 16, and I didn’t want them to grow up naive. People said, ‘How could you let three ballplayers and the team trainer live with you?’ I said, ‘Well, the girls are kind of ugly. I’m trying to help them out.’ ”

He’s not serious, of course, though the article’s next best quote may give anyone pause before taking one of these guys in:

Over the years, they’ve had about a dozen players live with them, including Votto, who spent his entire 2004 season with the Dragons at their home.

“Yeah, they had three rules,” he said with a laugh. “No drinking. No girls. Don’t mess with the daughters.”

Linda smiled when his recollection later was relayed to her: “He’s exactly right, but let me tell you something. Over the course of years, all of those rules have been broken, and one player broke all three at once.”

This is why I (a) don’t let my daughter hang out with those t-ball hooligans; and (b) keep my shotgun loaded at all times.